It's impossible not to think about his replacement even while mourning El Seguno Assemblyman Mike Gordon - and The Roundup offers a few names collected by the AP - including Manhattan Beach Councilman Jim Aldinger.
I've met councilman Aldinger several times since my AD borders the 53rd. He ran for Region 17 Director at the last CDP convention and lost to Palos Verdes's Kevin Biggers (whom I supported). Based on some (not all) of those who supporte Aldinger in the RD race, I wouldn't back him in the Special. Plus it'd be nice to see someone young and fresh in the seat - someone worthy of following up Mike Gordon.
In Other News:
PETA is still dumb. Their newest local crusade is to convince Long Beach's Acquarium of the Pacific to remove fish from its cafeteria menu. Yeah, okay, so it's kinda funny to get a fish dinner at an aquarium. But, the "Fish Empathy Project?" Seriously?
I used to work at an aquarium. I love fish. Both in a tank and wrapped in kelp and rice with a side of wasabi. Or just nicely grilled and tasty.
Hey PETA, why don't you focus on not killing the animals in your possession before you fret about sustainable, environmentally friendly seafood at a world-class aquarium?
And, of course:
A new Field Poll shows that everything thinks CA's going down the tubes and that it's our leaderships' fault. Congrats, Arnold, you successfully blew up a bunch of boxes. Sadly, those were the foundations upon which our government was built: respect of law and trust in representative democracy. Didn't realize you were standing on equally shaky footing, didja? Bummer. Way to go.
And my own State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) will help announce a redistricting reform proposal today that L.A. Daily News says would result in Senate Dems (I can only assume they mean Legislative Dems, or just the Legislature, generally) retaining their political control over districting.
The plan - which still removes the maps from Legislative hands - vests the power in an independent commission, not a three-member panel of retired judges. Four of seven commissioners would be appointed by Legislative leaders - the Pro Tem, Speaker, Assembly and Senate Minority Leaders - and the remaining 3 by the Governor, Judicial Council, and - for kicks - the President of the University of California. The plan is also, by the way, hardly new. New to you, perhaps, but not spanking-new by any means (you can track SCA 3's changes here).
Several other states, including Arizona (on whose first independent commission run redistricting I briefly worked in 2001), use independent commissions. They aren't perfect, but they would be better than the current system. My favorite part of most set-ups is that commissioners are prohibited from running for 6 years after the adoption of a plan so they aren't motivated to draw themselves a district in which to run. (tick, tick, tick, tick, tick). By now you should be thinking, "wait, aren't lines redrawn every ten years?" You would be right.
Not that I think judges are inately less partial or more able to execute a fair redistricting - in fact, I'm generally against the conventional wisdom that judges are so special like that. But I would prefer a 3-judge panel to an independent commission. I'd also prefer the Ted "I have a lot of money, so let's govern MY way" Costa ballot proposal didn't include mid-decade redistricting. That swamps it (even though, realistically, folks would just litigate until the new data comes out anyway).
We'll see what happens.